Michael van Gerwen can make history at Alexandra Palace in the coming weeks. He can become the first player to become a four-time world champion at Alexandra Palace.
In 2023, Van Gerwen hasn't had the greatest of campaigns at TV majors. He has however, triumphed at a number of tournaments that did not count toward the rankings. He won the Premier League Darts for the seventh time in his career, and was the best at the US Darts Masters, Poland Darts Masters and World Series Finals.
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At major tournaments such as the World Matchplay, World Grand Prix and Grand Slam of Darts, Van Gerwen was eliminated early. ''There were a few ranking events where I would have liked to do a lot better,'' the three-time world champion acknowledged in an interview with the PDC.
"I could have done a lot more, but you can only blame yourself, and I cannot get it right all the time! Of course I am always trying. I am always looking to improve, and now I need to make sure I am focused for the World Championship.”
Van Gerwen has faced some physical problems in recent years. In 2022, he had surgery to treat carpal tunnel syndrome. This year, the Dutchman went under the knife again because of dental surgery.
''It’s been difficult, and there is still another operation coming, so it’s not finished yet,'' Van Gerwen stated. ''That is the way things go unfortunately, but you have to accept it; it’s part of life. You need to deal with it and make sure you stand behind your decisions. If you go for something, you have to commit to it 100 per cent, which is also the way I play darts.”
'Mighty Mike's last world title was some time ago, though. Van Gerwen became world champion in 2014, 2017 and 2019. At the previous edition of the World Darts Championship, he was defeated in the final by Michael Smith, with Van Gerwen also the runner-up in 2013 and 2020.
''I have probably deserved four or five [World Championship] titles in my opinion, but I’ve still got plenty of time. I try not to look back too much because it’s not going to change the past, and I’m fully focused towards this World Championship, because I need to be at my best. I know I am one of the favourites, and you need to perform like a favourite. It’s important to put your opponents under pressure from the beginning and that’s my goal. I feel relaxed, I feel comfortable, and I believe if I play my A-game, nobody else beats me.”